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Samit Sarkar and John Vignocchi

Aug 28th, 2015
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  1. Subject: Samit Sarkar and John Vignocchi.
  2. Sources: Twitter, Polygon, LinkedIn, Giant Bomb, Tumblr.
  3. Final version completed on: 10.07.2015
  4. Credits: Original investigation, format is more or less based on the format of @BoogiepopRobin's pastebins.
  5.  
  6. Note: All dates within this document are presented in the American format; the month is written before the day.
  7.  
  8. Background: John Vignocchi joined Disney Interactive in 2009, and was credited as executive producer in the Dinsney Interactive games "Disney Infinity" and "Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes". On November 2014 he was promoted to Vice President of Production for Disney Interactive (https://archive.is/dq60F#selection-1593.0-1617.112). Based on his linkedin profile (https://archive.is/4DfcJ), he was still working for the time of this company when the final version of this pastebin was compiled (09.08.2015). Since as early as October 2010, Sarkar and Vignocchi appear to have been friends, or at least friendly enough to warrant disclosure should any of Sarkar's reporting might potentially benefit Vignocchi. In spite of this, several articles covering Disney Interactive, its game or other subjects related to the company have been published by Sarkar. None of those articles included disclosure regarding Sarkar's relationship with Vignocchi.
  9.  
  10. Tweets between Sarkar and Vignocchi are archived in full here: https://archive.is/4q9Ef
  11. Several tweets demonstaring their friendship are presented below. Vignocchi's twitter handle is @JohnVignocchi (https://archive.is/REgYv), while Sarkar's handle is @SamitSarkar (https://archive.is/Qe3TZ).
  12.  
  13. 10.09.2010: Sarkar: "Good times tonight hanging out with friends like @colettebennett, @DaleNorth, @powerglove, @Alex_Navarro, @JohnVignocchi, & @DickMcVengeance" (https://archive.is/AuIsk)
  14. 12.30.2011: Sarkar: "Happy birthday to the one and only @JohnVignocchi! On this day and this day only, I'll admit: I played Cars 2 and thought it to be not-bad." (https://archive.is/0epEm)
  15. 01.15.2013: Sarkar: "@JohnVignocchi Congrats on the reveal, sir. I'm legit excited for it, like the rest of the known universe!" (https://archive.is/ZOYft)
  16. 03.19.2013: Vignocchi: "Sad - PAX East plans are cancelled. Salt Lake City, here I come!" (https://archive.is/XNVJD)
  17. 03.19.2013: Sarkar (in response to the above tweet): "@JohnVignocchi nooooooooooo" (https://archive.is/8YtMU)
  18. 03.19.2013: Vignocchi (in response to the above tweet): "@SamitSarkar I know :( Am I going to see you at GDC though?" (https://archive.is/viOgg)
  19. 03.19.2013: Sarkar (in response to the above tweet): "@JohnVignocchi A lot of @Polygon staffers will be there, but not me. I can't imagine covering both PAX East and GDC back-to-back!" (https://archive.is/Jepjc)
  20. 05.03.2013: Vignocchi: "@johnmadninja Ha! I was looking for @JustinMcElroy and @SamitSarkar to say “hi” and was told “We have to go NOW” from PR. :-/" (https://archive.is/JBllC)
  21. 05.05.2013: Samit Sarkar (in response to the above tweet): "@JohnVignocchi Just saw this... wasn't in the office that day, sadly! I usually work from home." (https://archive.is/TGMTe)
  22. 07.08.2013: Samit Sarkar writes a tumblr post mentioning how he in 2011 he hung out with the Giant Bomb staff in a bar and during the same outing also got to briefly chat with Vignocchi (https://archive.is/A1yBt). To prove that this blog belongs to Sarkar and is not operated by an imposter, I'm providing an archived tweet in which Sarkar confirms that this is indeed his blog: https://archive.is/jZNKn
  23. 09.01.2013 - Sarkar: "You know who's a great dude? @JohnVignocchi is a great dude." (https://archive.is/A5NZl)
  24. 12.31.2013 - Sarkar: "Wishing the happiest of birthdays to @JohnVignocchi, one of my favorite people in the gaming industry." (https://archive.is/GBP7a)
  25. 12.31.2013 - Vignocchi (in response to the above tweet): "@SamitSarkar And happy New Year to you, Samit - You are one of my favorites as well. Been a long journey for us both :)" (https://archive.is/gm3y6)
  26. 06.25.2014: Sarkar: "Karaoke is happening. @nickchester is doing "Purple Rain"; @JohnVignocchi did "Gin and Juice" with a stranger. All is right with the world." (https://archive.is/NJyZa) Another twitter user has also confirmed that Sarkar, Vignocchi and a couple of other people have hung out together on 06.25.2014 (https://archive.is/ZEHUU).
  27. 11.08.2014: Sarkar: "@CaseyMalone @nickchester @JohnVignocchi Seriously, this is blasphemy, Johnny. Go have Smashfries at Smashburger, then talk to me." (https://archive.is/zIHeR)
  28. 11.08.2014: Vignocchi (in response to the above tweet): "@SamitSarkar @CaseyMalone @nickchester OMG WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY FRIENDS!! WE AGREE TO DISAGREE." (https://archive.is/A0vz3)
  29.  
  30. Summary: As can be seen above, Sarkar and and Vignocchi have referred to each other as friends and appear to be quite fond of each other. They have been documented to have hung out with each other two times (on 10.09.2010, 2011 and 06.25.2014) and to have sought each other's company/hoped to see each other at two other times (on 03.19.2013 and 05.03.2013). It appears to be enough to at least warrant disclosure whenever Sarkar writes aboout Vignocchi/projects he is involved in/subjects that are otherwise related to him.
  31.  
  32. Articles with Potential Disclosure Issues (all were published in Polygon):
  33.  
  34. 02.06.2013: Activision not concerned with running out of Skylanders ideas (https://archive.is/FbOiJ). Comments: Deals mostly with Activision and its Skylander series, but also mentions Disney's Disney Infinity as a competitor to that game.
  35. 02.22.2013: Disney Infinity 'Cars' toys images (https://archive.is/rxxsK).
  36. 02.22.2013: See Disney Infinity's 'Cars' Play Set in action (https://archive.is/Pr9o7)
  37. 02.28.2013: PDP making Disney Infinity accessories (https://archive.is/OwygO)
  38. 05.06.2013: EA and Disney sign exclusive deal for rights to Star Wars games (https://archive.is/c17Ei)
  39. 06.26.2013: Disney Infinity trailer shows you what's possible in the Toy Box (https://archive.is/uQsRg)
  40. 09.05.2013: Disney Infinity gets BioShock Infinite's Columbia, more themed levels to Toy Box (update) (https://archive.is/t6wUV). Comments: Mentions Vignocchi by name.
  41. 09.05.2013: Disney Infinity Toy Box DLC screenshots (https://archive.is/q5gdn)
  42. 10.16.2013: Bringing a video game into the real world with Anki Drive (https://archive.is/V9HCW)
  43. 12.04.2013: GameStop hosting in-store 'Play Day' Dec. 7 with demos, discounts (https://archive.is/BsGlG)
  44. 01.17.2014: Disney Infinity sales hit 3 million units (https://archive.is/XazqI)
  45. 04.08.2014: Marvel teases Avengers in Disney Infinity '2.0 Edition' (update) (https://archive.is/CnTNt)
  46. 04.14.2014: Skylanders game for 2014 set to be revealed later this month (https://archive.is/SyoHV)
  47. 04.24.2014: Disney and Marvel unveiling Disney Infinity collaboration soon (https://archive.is/fI2X8)
  48. 05.02.2014: Disney Interactive revenue up 38 percent in Q1 2014 (https://archive.is/HNBRz)
  49. 05.22.2014: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U to use Skylanders-like NFC tech (https://archive.is/94fCu)
  50. 06.06.2014: Disney Infinity 2.0 is an ambitious attempt to evolve the series and all its characters (https://archive.is/fv4oq). Comments: Mentions Vignocchi by name.
  51. 06.10.2014: Skylanders Trap Team may have the series' most creative character designs yet (https://archive.is/ajsqF)
  52. 07.16.2014: Disney Infinity 2.0 roster grows with Tinker Bell and Stitch (https://archive.is/JA3rS)
  53. 07.16.2014: Disney Infinity 2.0: Stitch and Tinker Bell images (https://archive.is/jOoBC)
  54. 09.24.2014: GameStop now taking trade-ins of Disney Infinity and Skylanders figures (https://archive.is/7EItQ)
  55. 11.21.2014: Here are the nominees for The Game Awards 2014 (https://archive.is/AxaZ9). Comments: Briefly mentions two games by Disney Interactive.
  56. 05.08.2015: Disney Infinity 2.0 launches May 9 on PlayStation Vita, only at GameStop (https://archive.is/hxpog)
  57. 06.03.2015: Skylanders SuperChargers adds vehicles this September for the series' biggest change yet (https://archive.is/kgki8) 06.22.2015: THE E3 2015 SHOW FLOOR, IN PHOTOS (https://archive.is/2eHAQ). Comments: Features an image from a Disney Infinity exhibition.
  58. 07.08.2015: Disney Infinity 3.0 arrives at the end of August (https://archive.is/CoDB8)
  59. 07.24.2015: Disney Infinity poll asks fans who they want added to the game (update) (https://archive.is/nbVjI)
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